UCLA men’s basketball falls to Oregon in 1st conference loss of season
Sophomore guard Jaylen Clark picked up two late steals to send No. 3 UCLA men’s basketball’s game against Oregon to overtime Thursday night, but the Bruins ultimately fell to the Ducks. (Anika Chakrabarti/Assistant Photo editor)
|No. 3 UCLA
By Jon Christon
Jan. 13, 2022 9:29 p.m.
This post was updated Jan. 13 at 10:49 p.m.
With 36 seconds left on the clock in regulation, the Bruins trailed by four.
Two Jaylen Clark steals later and the blue and gold had tied the game, forcing an extra five minutes of play.
However, even an additional overtime period couldn’t stop the home team from picking up its first conference loss of the season.
No. 3 UCLA men’s basketball (10-2, 2-1 Pac-12) sustained an 84-81 overtime loss to Oregon (10-6, 3-2) in an empty Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night. The defeat also marks the Bruins’ only home loss on the campaign.
“Either you’re humble and hungry like (the Ducks) were, trying to pull off the so-called upset or you’re arrogant without cause (because) we’ve won nothing,” said coach Mick Cronin. “If you don’t play hard, the game treats you the way it should.”
After holding the lead for the majority of the first half, UCLA quickly allowed a 16-2 run by Oregon that put it down nine points to start the second period.
The Bruins slowly chipped away though, taking the lead twice more before the Ducks extended the advantage to six with under a minute to go. A pair of free throws from junior guard Johnny Juzang made the deficit four as the Bruins utilized a full-court press with sophomore guard Clark front and center.
Clark then stole the ball from Oregon forward Quincy Guerrier, resulting – after multiple scrums for the ball – in a pair of made free throws from redshirt junior guard Tyger Campbell that brought the home team to within two.
Following the ensuing inbounds pass, Clark again stole the ball – this one after a bad pass from Duck guard Jacob Young – and laid it in, tying the score and extending the contest by another five minutes.
“We did a great job in our pressure late in the game, obviously,” Cronin said. “So it gave us a chance, but to be honest with you, we didn’t deserve it. … Even if we had won, I would have felt the same way.”
Young responded from his turnover to end regulation with a team-high six points in the extra period. The Bruins and Ducks traded baskets for much of overtime, including a stretch of four consecutive made baskets from Young, Juzang and senior guard Jules Bernard.
Finding itself down by two with 47 seconds left in overtime, UCLA had the opportunity to tie the game with junior guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. at the line following a foul from Oregon forward Eric Williams Jr.
But Jaquez – a 70% free-throw shooter entering the game – missed both. Young made the game-sealing jumper on the next possession with 24 seconds left, giving the Ducks a four-point lead.
“The main thing is we just need to get stops,” Juzang said. “They have talented guys, but we got to come up with stops down the stretch, and we just didn’t do that. Close games like that against good teams, you can’t have any mistakes – and we had a lot.”
The Bruins allowed the Ducks to shoot 54.1% from the field in the second half and overtime – including a 5-of-10 mark from beyond the arc – while shooting 40.5% across that same stretch.
Juzang and Bernard matched Young in the scoring department in the extra five minutes with six points combined, but it wasn’t enough, as the Bruins were outscored 11-8.
Young paced the Ducks with 23 points – 19 of which came in the second half and overtime. Five others scored in double figures for Oregon, with guard Will Richardson adding 16 points while being the only other Duck to score in the extra period.
Oregon guard De’Vion Harmon, center N’Faly Dante, Williams and Guerrier rounded out the Ducks who scored at least 10 points.
“They came in, and they were ready to fight and play,” Bernard said. “When you let players like Young and Richardson and Harmon and even their big man get hot and build that energy, it’s tough to cool them down.”
UCLA will have the chance to get back on track with a matchup against Oregon State on Saturday night.
“We have to learn from our mistakes this game, and we’re not done,” Bernard said. “We played poorly today, and it’s past us. We’re definitely going to study and realize what we did wrong this game and come into Saturday with our heads high and to get a win for our team.”